Hard Rock, Comic Book Fans Will Agree ‘Dark Knights: Death Metal’ Soundtrack Is Worth Hearing At Least Once

Courtesy: Loma Vista Recordings/DC Comics

One of DC Comics’ latest event series has gotten an extra push of sorts.  The company has partnered with Loma Vista Recordings to release a soundtrack for its Dark Knights: Death Metal mini-event.  The series ran from June 2020-January 2021 and was a “sequel” to the company’s 2017 series Dark Knights: Metal.  Both series are multiverse-spanning stories that largely center on one of DC’s most well-known heroes in Batman.  The soundtrack to Death Metal – which was released digitally Friday and is planned for a physical release July 16 — is in itself technically a sequel in itself because Metal also had its own soundtrack released in Sept. 2018 in the form of a six-song EP.  This musical companion to Death Metal is interesting in part because of the approach taken to its featured songs.  This will be addressed shortly.  The range of acts and musical styles exhibited throughout the soundtrack is also of note in the record’s overall presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The bonus content that will feature with the album’s physical release will add to the soundtrack’s appeal for the most devoted comic book fans.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this soundtrack’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the record an intriguing presentation that comic book and hard rock/metal fans will find worth hearing.

Loma Vista Recordings’ soundtrack to DC Comics’ event series Dark Knights: Death Metal is a presentation that comic book aficionados and hard rock fans will find intriguing.  The soundtrack’s interest comes in part because of the approach that was taken to its very presentation.  Some of the record’s featured songs are works that have at least some tie to the Death Metal event series while others are far less connected to the story.  It is a unique approach because it makes the soundtrack one part actual companion to the story and one part just general compilation.  One of the most notable of the songs not connected to the story is Rise Against’s song, ‘Broken Dreams, Inc.’ The band premiered the song in September.  According to front man Tim McIlrath, the familiar punk rock opus presents a commentary about the growing class divide in America.  He said in a recent interview of the theme, “’Broken Dreams, Inc.’ speaks to today’s changing landscape of American society, the opportunities that are available to some but not to others, the people who are able to benefit versus those who get left behind, who suffer and end up as casualties.  How do we level the playing field so everyone can have a real chance at attaining the American Dream? One word, ‘disruption.’  You have to put power into the hands of the people, not business, you have to value people and community over profit.  You can’t have a shareholder-run country or a shareholder-run world, a world that values profit above all else, because profit above all else can result in dangerous repercussions for humankind.”  This all clearly has nothing to do with the Death Metal story line, but is still certain to engage and entertain audiences.

One of the most notable songs that is at least loosely connected to the Death Metal story comes early in the soundtrack’s hour-long run in the form of ‘Diana.’  Composed and performed by Chelsea Wolfe, this industrial, Gary Numan-esque composition seems to center on Wonder Woman (Diana).  The lyrics are somewhat difficult to decipher here sans lyrics to reference, but from what can be understood, it must be inferred that this song has some link to Wonder Woman’s role in the event series’ first issue, in which she learns the story of Perpetua through Wally West (a.k.a. The Flash).  If in fact that is the case, then the mood that the song sets would work well in fact with that moment in the story, considering what Diana leans about Perpetua’s role in DC’s “Crisis” events.  When this song and ‘Broken Dreams, Inc.’ are considered along with the rest of the songs featured in the Death Metal soundtrack, the whole makes for reason enough to hear this compilation at least once.  The mix of songs connected to the story and standalone songs is sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right. 

In direct connection to the approach taken to the soundtrack, the wide range of acts and sounds featured throughout the soundtrack adds its own appeal to the presentation.  As has already been noted, audiences get a touch of Gary Numan-esque sound in Chelsea Wolfe’s ‘Diana.’  She and her composition are just part of the diversity exhibited in the soundtrack.  Mastodon opens the soundtrack with its pummeling opus, ‘Forged by Neron.’  This song is a full on sludge metal composition that hits intensely right off the bat.  One could even argue that there is a touch of doom metal influence in the song’s chorus, broadening that diversity even more.  Also previously noted is the punk leaning of Rise Against’s ‘Broken Dreams, Inc.’ It goes without saying that these three songs are themselves quite diverse as are the acts themselves.  That diversity in the acts is not limited just to these three acts and songs, either.  Manchester Orchestra’s ‘Never Ending’ is a rich emo shoegazer style work that holds its own against the other songs here while the act itself is also unlike the others noted.  Between these acts and songs and all of the others featured throughout the soundtrack, the overall diversity exhibited throughout gives audiences reason enough in itself to hear the record, regardless of whether they are comic book fans.

The content presented in Loma Vista Recordings’ soundtrack to DC’s Dark Knights: Death Metal proves itself an interesting presentation because of its content, as shown here.  For all that the content does for the soundtrack’s interest, it is just one part of what makes the soundtrack interesting.  The bonus content expected to come with the soundtrack’s physical release adds to the presentation’s interest.  That bonus content in question is mostly content that will appeal primarily to the most devoted comic book aficionados.  Among the bonuses featured with the soundtrack’s physical release is a poster promoting the event series, a group of trading cards, and variant covers for the soundtrack on its vinyl pressings.  The variant covers will especially appeal to comic book fans, since comic books so often come in variant covers.  The trading cards will appeal just as much, if not to more casual comic book fans, too.  Sure the bonuses are basically aesthetic elements, but still add their own touch that audiences will appreciate regardless of the level of their fandom for comics.  When this is considered along with the record’s primary content, the whole makes this soundtrack a welcome presentation for the most devoted DC fans who are also hard rock fans.

Loma Vista Recordings’ presentation of DC Comics’ Dark Knights: Death Metal soundtrack is a presentation that will find appeal among a very targeted audience.  That audience in question is composed of the most devoted comic book and hard rock fans.  The record’s interest is generated in part through its featured artists and works.  The artists and songs featured in this soundtrack are diverse, ranging from the independent to the more well-known.  Some of the songs are also more directly associated with the event series than others, adding to the diversity.  The sounds in the diverse arrangements are themselves diverse, making for even more interest.  The bonus content that accompanies the soundtrack’s forthcoming physical release adds the final touch to the recording.  It is such that it will appeal primarily to the most devoted comic book readers.  That is because of its aesthetic appeal.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this soundtrack.  All things considered, they make the soundtrack an interesting presentation that audiences will find worth hearing at least once.

Loma Vista Recordings’ presentation of DC Comics’ Dark Knights: Death Metal soundtrack is available now through all digital outlets.  It is scheduled for physical release next month.  More information on this and other titles from Loma Vista Recordings is available at:

Website: https://lomavistarecordings.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lomavistarecordings

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LomaVistaRC

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Gary Numan Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: BMG
Courtesy: BMG

Gary Numan announced his first live dates in support of his latest album this week.

The announcement was made in a news release distributed to the media. According to the document, the tour — which is in support of Numan’s latest album, Intruder (The album is available to stream and download here) — is scheduled to launch Sept. 17 in Los Angeles, CA and to run through Oct. 23 in Santa Ana, CA. . Numan’s upcoming tour features performances in cities nationwide, such as Carrboro, NC; Milwaukee, WI and Boise, ID.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

US Tour Dates:  

September 17, 2021 Fri – Los Angeles – The Fonda

September 18, 2021 Sat – San Diego – The Observatory North Park

September 19, 2021 Sun – Pioneertown – Pappy & Harriet’s

September 20, 2021 Mon – Phoenix – The Crescent Ballroom

September 22, 2021 Wed – San Antonio – Paper Tiger

September 23, 2021 Thu – Austin – Emo’s

September 24, 2021 Fri – Dallas – Granada Theater

September 25, 2021 Sat – Houston – Numbers

September 27, 2021 Mon – Nashville – Basement East

September 28, 2021 Tue – Atlanta – Variety Playhouse

September 29, 2021 Wed – Carrboro – Cat’s Cradle

September 30, 2021 Thu – DC – 9:30 Club

October 1, 2021 Fri – Buffalo – Town Ballroom

October 2, 2021 Sat – New York – Brooklyn Steel

October 4, 2021 Mon – Boston – Paradise

October 5, 2021 Tue – New Haven – College Street

October 6, 2021 Wed – Philadelphia – Union Transfer

October 8, 2021 Fri – Toronto – Phoenix Concert Theatre

October 9, 2021 Sat – Detroit – Majestic Theatre

October 10, 2021 Sun – Chicago – Park West

October 11, 2021 Mon – Milwaukee – The Rave

October 12, 2021 Tue – Minneapolis – First Avenue

October 14, 2021 Thu – Denver – Gothic Theatre

October 15, 2021 Fri – Salt Lake City – Metro Music Hall

October 16, 2021 Sat – Boise – Knitting Factory

October 17, 2021 Sun – Portland – Revolution Hall

October 18, 2021 Mon – Vancouver – Commodore Ballroom

October 19, 2021 Tue – Seattle – Neptune

October 21, 2021 Thu – Sacramento – Ace Of Spades

October 22, 2021 Fri – San Francisco – The Fillmore

October 23, 2021 Sat – Santa Ana – The Observatory

In related news, Numan will present the streaming concert event, “Intruder: The Worldwide Concert Premiere” June 17. Presented by Stabal, the concert will feature songs from Intruder and a variety of other albums in Numan’s catalog. Tickets for that event are available here.

More information on Numan’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://garynuman.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/numanofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gary Numan’s New Album Is Anything But An “Intruder” In This Year’s New Rock Albums Field

Courtesy: BMG

Veteran musician/singer/songwriter Gary Numan is scheduled to release his latest album, Intruder, Friday.  His 24th (yes, 24th) album, this 13-song record will come more than three years after the release of his then most recent album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World) appeal strongly to Numan’s established audience base as well as most fans of electronic and industrial rock and metal.  That is proven in part through the musical arrangements featured throughout the album.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes featured alongside the album’s musical arrangements will make for their own share of interest.  They will be addressed a little later.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album another engaging offering from one of the rock and metal world’s most respected figures.

Despite its title, Gary Numan’s forthcoming album Intruder will not be viewed by audiences or critics as an intruder.  Rather, it is a presentation that most audiences and critics will welcome.  That is proven in part through the album’s collective musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are largely everything that audiences have come to expect from Numan, with their electronic/industrial style approaches.  The same brooding, keyboard-driven sound and style presented in Savage (Songs from a Broken World) and its predecessor, Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) are present here, too.  Though, a close listen reveals that even with that stylistic similarity, the arrangements are not just copy and paste works.  There are subtle variances in the songs between this record’s compositions and those of the aforementioned records.  The arrangements here are even more controlled and “softer” for lack of better wording, than the heavier but equally intense works in those albums.  That is really what listeners will catch in their close listens.  This aspect of Intruder is certain to keep the noted audiences engaged and entertained throughout the album.  It is just one part of what audiences will find appealing in the presentation.  The record’s lyrical content adds its own touch to the album’s interest.

The lyrical content featured alongside the album’s musical arrangements is of note because of their heavy nature.  This is an album that lyrically is not just an everyday listen.  Case in point is the lyrical content of ‘I Am Screaming.’  This song comes across as a person trying to comfort someone who is in a dark place, emotionally speaking.  That is inferred right from the song’s lead verse and chorus, in which Numan sings, “Do you regret the words you never said?/Do you feel lost like I do?/Do you regret the things you never did/As if time waited for you?/Can you see me?/Can you feel me?/Can you hear me?/I am screaming”  As the song progresses, the subject’s reassurance to the second person comes into play as Numan sings, “Do you regret the songs you never sang?/A love betrayed and broken/Do you regret the life you never lived?/A thousand dreams unopened/You’re welcome to walk with me/You’re welcome to walk alone/You’re welcome to stand with me/You’re welcome to stand alone.”  The song’s third verse follows in similar fashion.  To that end, what audiences get here is a song that touches so well on the deep emotions that people feel when they reach that “dark night of the soul” but reminds them that they are not alone and can get through things.

‘A Black Sun’ is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  In this case, Numan seems to the so-called loss of one’s influence.  In this case, that loss of innocence happens not through any criminal act, but through another existential crisis of sorts.  That is inferred in part in the song’s lead verse, in which Numan sings, “When I was a child my life seemed endless/Too far to see/When I was a child the world was waiting and called to me/And everyone I loved would live for eternity/And everything I dreamed would all come true for me/But now I feel the end come/My childish dreams are undone/I cry under a black sun/And every song is unsung/You will hear me when the wind sighs/You will feel me beside you always/You won’t see me but I’ll be with you.”  The song’s second verse plays out in similar fashion, so there is no need to continue there.  This is a state of mind in which everyone has found themselves.  To that end, it makes the song’s lyrical theme here that much more accessible.  The fashion in which the lyrics are delivered adds even more to that accessibility.  Keeping that in mind, audiences see even more here why the album’s lyrical content is important to its presentation.

‘Saints and Liars’ is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  In the case of this song, it comes across as a commentary about religious fundamentalism.  In this case, it indicts those most pious individuals who claim to be anything but self-righteous.  This is inferred early in the song’s lead verse, which states, “Can you see your fallen God?/He’s standing next to me, far from home/Can you hear your broken promises?/I am what you’ve been waiting for.”  The seeming indictment continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Can you feel your righteous anger?/It’s like a poison that feeds the soul/Can you hide from Saints and liars/When every word is the death of me?/And this is who you are.”  Between this seeming message, those presented in the album’s other noted works and those in the rest of the album, the whole makes clear why this album’s deep, heavy lyrical content is so important to its presentation.  It will grip listeners just as much as the album’s musical content with its ability to so richly translate so many familiar thoughts and feelings that people go through.  Numan is to be commended for all of this.  Even with this in mind, the album still has one more item to examine, its production.

As already noted, the arrangements featured throughout the course of Intruder are familiar for Numan’s established audience base.  The electronic/industrial sound that he has used for such a long time is present throughout the album.  Also noted is the controlled presentation of each arrangement here to make the songs distinguishable from those in Numan’s existing catalog.  That control is a tribute not only to Numan and his fellow musicians, but also to those behind the boards.  The keyboards and drums had to be balanced out just right with Numan’s vocals in each song.  The same is to be said of the guitars.  The attention to detail within song leaves the arrangements fully immersive from one to the next.  Each instrument and each vocal line is expertly balanced with its counterparts to make each song that strong even in their more subtle presentations.  This is a testament to the work put in to ensuring each presented arrangement.  The impact, along with that of the album’s overall content, makes the album in whole that much stronger.

Gary Numan’s latest album, Intruder, is a presentation that will appeal easily to any of his established audiences.  It will appeal just as much to fans of electronic/industrial music.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements prove familiar in comparison to the arrangements featured in most of Numan’s existing albums.  Of course there are subtle differences here that make the arrangements different from his other works, in terms of their sound.  The lyrical themes featured in this record add their own interest to the record.  That is because they touch on topics that are familiar to any listener.  They are deeply emotional and heavy statements, too, which adds to their impact.  The production of the record’s songs rounds out its most important elements.  It ensures that each song presents audiences with the fullest impact there, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from one of the most respected names in the hard rock community.  Intruder is scheduled for release Friday through BMG. 

More information on Numan’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttp://garynuman.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/numanofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Walking Papers Debuts New Single, Video

Courtesy: Carry On Music

Independent music duo Walking Papers debuted its latest single, ‘Creation Reproduction and Death’ this week.

The duo premiered the single and its video Friday. The song is the latest single from the band’s latest album, The Light Below, which was released in February through Carry On Music. The premiere of the new single and video comes more than four months after the premiere of the album’s then latest single, ‘Divine Intervention‘ and its companion video.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Creation Reproduction and Death’ is a heavy, industrial style composition that will appeal to fans of Gary Numan and Nine Inch Nails.. The heavy keyboards that form the song’s foundation work with the more airy secondary keyboard line and drums to make this work sound unlike anything else in the album.  That alone serves to show even more why the album in whole is so unique. It helps to show the vast diversity in the album’s musical content.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement adds to the song’s appeal.

Front man Jefferson Angell talked about the song’s lyrical theme during a recent interview.

“I wrote ’Creation Reproduction and Death’ while contemplating how much time we have left, how we’ll spend it and who will we spend it with?,” he said. “It’s a question we can only answer for ourselves compounded by the pressure that we may not know if we made the right decision until there is no time left to do anything about it. After making three epic videos, we wanted to cut loose and have a good time. We hope people will enjoy watching the video as much as we had fun making it!”

The video for ‘Creation Reproduction & Death’ features Angell and his band mates performing the group’s new single against a green screen, and imagery, such as the band replacing its heads with television monitors, and video of an explosion’s shockwave hitting a forest setting.

Along with ‘Divine Intervention’ and ‘Creation Reproduction & Death,’ Walking Papers has also produced the singles, ‘The Value of Zero‘ and ‘What Did You Expect?

More information on Walking Papers’ new single, video and album is available along with all of the duo’s latest news at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/walkingpapersmusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/walkingpapers

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Walking Papers’ New LP Is One Of 2021’s Essential Albums

Courtesy: Carry On Music

Independent rock band Walking Papers’ forthcoming album The Light Below is one of the most welcome surprises in the very young year that is 2021.  Scheduled for release Friday through Carry On Music, the 12-song record succeeds because of its unassuming nature, both in regards to its musical and lyrical content.  From its start to its end, the subtleties in the 64-minute presentation make it such an interesting collection of songs.  It is not one of those records that will appeal to audiences expecting short, radio ready singles.  Rather, the album in whole is one of those works that requires listeners to give it their full attention.  In doing so, listeners will agree that there is a lot to like here.  ‘Rich Man’s War,’ which comes late in the record’s hour-plus run time, is just one of the many songs that this album has to offer audiences.  It will be discussed shortly.  On a completely opposite end of things, ‘California (One More Phone Call),’ which closes out the album, is another example of what makes The Light Below such an exemplary new offering from Walking Papers.  On yet another side of things is the deep electronic composition ‘Creation Reproduction and Death.’  All three songs noted here are crucial in their own way to the overall presentation of The Light Below.  When they are considered alongside other entries from the album, such as the Muse-eque ‘What Did You Expect,’ ‘Where Did I Go Wrong?,’ which conjures thoughts of The Doors,’ and the brooding instrumental ‘The Other Shoe (Reprise),’ as well as the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of this record becomes a presentation that is unquestionably one of this year’s first great overall albums.  In other words, it is one of year’s essentials whether listeners are fans of the mainstream or independent realm.

Walking Papers’ new forthcoming album The Light Below – the band’s third studio recording – is one of 2021’s first great overall albums.  That is the belief at least of this critic in particular.  The record’s musical and lyrical content alike fully supports the noted statements.  ‘Rich Man’s War,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is just one of the songs that support the noted statements.  The song’s musical arrangement is a funky, upbeat composition.  The fuzzed guitar effect immediately lends itself to work that famed guitarist Tom Morello has crafted throughout his career.  Listeners can immediately hear hints of his work with Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave right from the song’s outset.  The subtle addition of the keyboard in the chorus adds its own nice touch, especially what with the echo effect used for that line.  The drums sound so tight throughout, along with the bass line.  The overall instrumentation makes the song’s musical arrangement stand strongly on its own merits.  When that whole pairs with the clear socio-politically charged lyrical theme in the song, the song gains even more traction.

The noted socio-political commentary is inferred even before the song starts, in its title.  The very title ‘Rich Man’s War’ lets listeners where this song will take them.  Front man Jefferson Angell sings in the song’s lead verse, “It’s a rich man’s war/It’s a poor man’s blood/Things will never change/It’s understood/You can ask for help/It does no good/It’s a rich man’s war/It’s a poor man’s blood.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “To the powers that be/We think the convenience of reality/I find it hard to believe/That you’d still lift a leg…It’s a rich man’s war/A poor man’s blood/You can ask for help/It does no good/It’s a rich man’s war/It’s a poor  man’s blood.”   He adds in the song’s third verse, “I see the world differently/’Cause I can’t look up to people that look down on me/How are you supposed to compete…”  The line that follows is difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference.  That aside, enough of this verse and the song’s other verses are understandable that there is no mystery as to the song’s lyrical theme.  This is a protest of sorts.  Considering that, the RATM/Audioslave type musical arrangement makes that much more sense.  It also serves to strengthen the song even more.  That in turn shows in part what makes The Light Below stand out in whole.  It is just one of the songs that makes the album such a strong presentation.  ‘California (One More Phone Call)’ is another part of what makes The Light Below shine.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

‘California (One More Phone Call)’ is completely unlike ‘Rich Man’s War’ and everything else featured in this hour-plus record.  The gentle, airy effect from the guitars and keyboards lends itself to comparison to the famed Eagles’ song ‘Desperado.’  It should be stressed here that said comparison is only stylistic.  The two songs sound nothing alike in general.  It is just the stylistic approach between the two that is so enjoyable similar.  Angell’s smoky vocal delivery, set alongside the almost ethereal instrumentation makes the experience in this song even more enjoyable in its own right.  All things considered in this aspect, the musical side of this song makes for quite the contrast from the album’s opener – ‘The Value of Zero’ – and its own example of why the musical content in this record overall stands out.

When the wonderfully moving musical arrangement featured in ‘California (One More Phone Call)’ is considered along with the song’s familiar lyrical story of a broken relationship, the song in whole stands out even more.  Yes, the way in which the story is told is a bit cliché and overly saccharine, but it still works thanks to its musical accompaniment.  The story opens with the subject singing about his romantic interest preparing to leave him.  He sings, “Give me just/One more phone call/One more kiss/Before you go and leave me alone like this/’Cause it’s gonna hurt to see you go/Put your dreams on hold to make/Mind control/Held your breath/Until your face turns blue/… gonna tell me/All I needed to know/She wants to move to California/She needs a change of scenery/She won’t take no for an answer/Who am I to disagree?”  He continues, stating, “I wish there was something I could say to make you change your mind…She won’t make it through another Winter/Who am I to disagree/Give me one more phone call/Give me one more kiss/Before you leave me alone like this/’Cause it’s gonna hurt to see you go.”  This song might not bring every listener to tears, but there is no doubt it will still move listeners.  That is especially when listeners take into account the noted lyrical content along with the song’s rich musical arrangement.  Collectively, they make the song another clear example of what makes the album in whole such a strong offering.  It is just one more example of what makes the album stand out, too.  ‘Creation Reproduction and Death’ is among the most unique of the album’s entries.

‘Creation Reproduction and Death’ is the longest song on Walking Papers’ new album.  It clocks in at nine minutes, 23 seconds.  So it only makes sense that the song is used as the album’s midpoint.  The song’s heavy, industrial musical arrangement immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Gary Numan and Nine Inch Nails.   The heavy keyboards that form the song’s foundation work with the more airy secondary keyboard line and drums to make this work sound unlike anything else in the album.  That alone serves to show even more why the album in whole is so unique. It helps to show the vast diversity in the album’s musical content.  The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement adds to the song’s appeal.

Angell opens the song, singing, “I/Depend on the light/I know it ain’t right/I want you in the worst way, baby/My fate will wait for me there…I want you in the worst way, baby…If you got under my skin/You know I’d never show it…I bet you think you got a dark side, don’t you/What have I got myself into…You said you’d hold me ‘til  there’s nothing else/You said you don’t know who you’re f******  with/The beads of sweat…Creation reproduction and death.”  While much of the lyrical content here is difficult to decipher without a sheet to reference, it can mostly be inferred here that this song centers on a man who has gotten into quite the interesting relationship with a woman who is perhaps a bit of a drama queen.  The song’s second verse continues the story, which will certainly keep listeners engaged in itself.  When this seeming story is coupled with the song’s powerful, industrial style musical arrangement (again, which is unlike anything else in this record), the whole becomes even more powerful.  It shows even more what makes this record stand out.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s songs, the overall production becomes a work that is one of 2021’s essential albums.

Walking Papers’ new forthcoming album The Light Below is a production that shines from beginning to end.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  That is evidenced through the album’s musical and lyrical content.  The songs examined here serve well to support the noted statements.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole proves itself to be one of this year’s top new independent and overall albums.  The Light Below is scheduled for release Friday through Cary On Music.

More information on Walking Papers’ new album is available along with all of the duo’s latest news at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/walkingpapersmusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/walkingpapers

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gang Of Four Tribute Compilation’s Track Listing Revealed

Credit: Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Audiences now know the track listing for the upcoming Gang of Four tribute record The Problem of LeisureA Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four.

The record, which is scheduled for release in May, will feature performances from a who’s who of the rock community. Artists and acts, such as Gary Numan (whose new album Intruder is scheduled for release in May), the Dandy Warhols, and Killing Joke are all listed on the track listing for the 2LP vinyl set. Pre-orders for the compilation are open.

Serj Tankian (System of a Down) and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage) premiered the compilation’s lead single last week, a cover of Group of Four’s hit single ‘Natural’s Not In It.’

Prior to his passing last year, Gill had envisioned the new compilation record as a celebration marking 40 years since the release of Entertainment! Following his death, that changed, and artists instead opted to lay out the compilation’s body with works that represented much more of Gang of Four’s catalog, according to Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer.

Mayer said in her comments, that Gill approved of the changes.

“Andy was massively excited about this project,”said Mayer. “It wasn’t of course conceived as a tribute album, but it’s comforting to me that he lived to see artists he hugely admired enthusiastically agreeing to participate, signaling that the admiration was mutual.”

The full track listing for The Problem of LeisureA Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four is noted below.

The Problem of Leisure: CD One
 
Vinyl One, Side A

  1. IDLES – Damaged Goods (UK)
  2. Tom Morello & Serj Tankian – Natural’s Not in It  (USA)
  3. Helmet – In the Ditch (USA)
  4. 3D* x Gang of Four feat. Nova Twins – Where the Nightingale Sings (UK)
  5. Hotei – To Hell With Poverty (Japan)

 
Vinyl One, Side B

  1. Gary Numan – Love Like Anthrax (UK)
  2. Gail Ann Dorsey – We Live as We Dream, Alone (USA)
  3. Herbert Grönemeyer feat. Alex Silva – I Love a Man in a Uniform (Germany)
  4. LoneLady – Not Great Men (UK)
  5. JJ Sterry – 5.45 (UK)

 
The Problem of Leisure: CD Two
Vinyl Two, Side C

  1. La Roux – Damaged Goods (UK)
  2. Everything Everything – Natural’s Not in It (UK)
  3. Dado Villa-Lobos – Return the Gift (Brazil)
  4. The Dandy Warhols – What We All Want (USA)
  5. Warpaint – Paralysed (USA)

 
Vinyl Two, Side D

  1. Flea & John Frusciante – Not Great Men (USA)
  2. The Sounds – I Love a Man in a Uniform (Sweden)
  3. Hardcore Raver in Tears – Last Mile** (China)
  4. Killing Joke x Gang of Four – Forever Starts Now (Killing Joke Dub) (UK)
  5. Sekar Melati – Not Great Men (live version) (Japan)

* 3D is the remix name of Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack

** “Last Mile” is the new title for this cover of “Broken Talk”, reflecting new lyrics sung in Mandarin by Hardcore Raver in Tears

More information on the compilation is available along with all of Gang of Four’s latest news at:

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/gangoffourofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/gangof4official

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Blue Eyed Christ Debuts ‘Massive React’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity/Distortion Productions

Blue Eyed Christ debuted the video for its new single this week.

The industrial/electronic rock act, founded by producer/engineer John D. Norten, debuted its new single ‘Massive React‘ Monday.  The song is the third single from the band’s latest album World on Fire.  Its debut follows the premiere of the videos for two other songs from the album, ‘World on Fire‘ and ‘America H.’

The song’s video takes a simplistic yet artistic approach in its presentation.  It crosses time lapse photography of people walking around in various city settings with footage of a single person running along various other backdrops.  Meanwhile, what is meant to look like glitches in a video surveillance camera are used to add to the video’s impact as it works to help translate the song’s lyrical message.

The song’s lyrical content puts forth a social commentary, also as with its predecessors, according to Norten.

“‘Massive React’ mixes a slick synth groove with processed guitars while tackling the effects that corporate greed, technology, and personal responsibility play within the world,” he said. “it was great having Jim Marcus (Go Fight, Die Warzau) on board to direct the video since we have a musical history reaching back to the 90s.”

As with the aforementioned singles, the musical arrangement at the center of ‘Massive React’ is another composition whose steady beat, electronics and vocals will appeal to fans of acts, such as Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, and Ministry.

World on Fire is available now through Distortion Productions.

More information on Blue Eyed Christ’s new single, video and album is available along with all of the act’s latest news at:

 

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/blueeyedchrist

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/BlueEyedChrist

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Blue Eyed Christ Debuts New Single, ‘America H’

Courtesy: TAG Publicity/Distortion Productions

Electronic music act Blue Eyed Christ returned this week with its first new music in years.

The act, founded by producer/engineer John D. Norten, debuted its new single ‘America H‘ Monday.  The song, whose musical arrangement will appeal to fans of acts, such as Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, is featured in the BEC’s forthcoming album World on Fire.  The album is scheduled for release on May 22 through Distortion Productions.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘American H’ is a subtle keyboard-driven work whose electronics add their own touch to the song’s presentation.  The balance of the keyboards, electronics and vocals makes the song wholly engaging and entertaining from beginning to end of its three-and-a-half-minute opus.

The song’s lyrical content is part of a bigger commentary that encompasses the album, which is overall, a concept album.

Norten talked the concept behind the song in a recent interview.

“‘America H’ is about sifting through the noise of the media and content we consume every day, how everything we surround ourselves with influences us,” he said. “There’s also an Orwellian tone to it that I expect will seem more relevant as things progress like government surveillance, civil liberties, etc.”

Additionally, Norten talked about the overarching concept at the center of the album.

World on Fire is a loosely based concept album about the state of the world that combines the energy and political anthems of my first album mixed with the personal themes I’m also known for,” he said.  “It’s the combustion of everything I’ve done on the first 4 albums. When I started writing it, I really didn’t realize how prophetic it would become as things continue to unravel and become more polarized and extreme; I thought I was writing an album about the dystopian world we live in, but then realized I was also writing a deeply personal album about the collective human experience. It’s about trying to make sense of everything being thrown at you and finding out where you fit in.”

World on Fire is Blue Eyed Christ’s fifth album and his first in six years.  Pre-orders are open now for the 11-song album through Distortion Productions’ official website and through Blue Eyed Christ’s official Bandcamp page.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

Track List:
1. Start the Show
2. Stop the Show!
3. America H
4. Manic Adderall (Nation of the Damned)
5. Massive React
6. Take It the the Streets
7. World on Fire (Feat. En Esch and Mea Fisher)
8. The System Pt. 1
9. The System Pt. 2
10. The Wait is Over (Feat. Swindy)
11. The Slow Reverse

 

More information on Blue Eyed Christ’s new single and video, and new album is available along with all of the act’s latest news at:

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blueeyedchrist

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BlueEyedChrist

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Am I Dead Yet? Proves The Independent Music Realm Is Alive With Talent

Courtesy: Wire-Sound

The United Kingdom has, for decades, offered the music industry so many great musical acts.  From The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Motorhead and Judas Priest to David Bowie and Pink Floyd and others, the list of great bands is almost endless.  For all of the great acts that have come from the United Kingdom, it has also produced a variety of noteworthy independent acts throughout the years.  Late this past April Am I Dead Yet? added itself to that list of notable indie UK acts with its debut self-titled album.  The 11-song, 47-minute album is an interesting record whose musical arrangements will appeal to fans of David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and even Pink Floyd while its lyrical content will appeal to an even wider array of listeners.  That is proven early on in the form of the song ‘Meek Shall Inherit The Earth.’  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘People Are Dangerous’ uses its music and lyrics to show just as much as ‘Meek Shall Inherit The Earth’ to help show what makes this record stand out.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Futuristic Paranoia,’ which immediately follows ‘People Are Dangerous,’ is yet another example of what makes Am I Dead Yet? stand out as one of this year’s most notable indie music acts.  When it is considered along with the likes of ‘Loneliness,’ ‘Thanks For Sharing’ and ‘Leaving Me Behind,’ – three more of the album’s featured songs – the album becomes that much more impressive.  When all of these songs are considered with the five remaining songs not noted here, the whole of Am I Dead Yet? becomes a record that reminds people the independent music world is just as alive (bad pun fully intended) as the mainstream realm with great acts.

Am I Dead Yet?’s debut self-titled album is one of the most surprising albums of 2019.  It is a record that proves, over the course of its 47-minute run time, that the independent music realm is just as alive with talent as the mainstream realm.  That is proven in part early on in the album’s run in the form of ‘Meek Shall Inherit The Earth.’  The song’s musical arrangement is one part of what makes it such an interesting offering.  The use of the keyboards, the gong, guitars and general production generates a sound and feeling in the arrangement that conjures thoughts of some of David Bowie’s best works.  One could even argue a comparison to some of Depeche Mode’s best works, too.  That is not a bad thing, either.  It is an amalgam that translates quite well even with its melancholic feeling.  That melancholic feeling is important to note because it is in such stark contrast to the song’s lyrical content, which seems actually quite uplifting.

The song’s lead verse reads, “Britain’s got talent/You bet the f*** it has/But it’s not on a game show/On the pages of a sad celebrity mag/Laugh now/For one day, we’ll be in control, oh yeah/It’s coming up from the sewers and the cracks in the walls/Lost souls/Tired of it all/weirdos…queers in padded cells/We salute you/The anti-heroes/Dream out loud/For all that you’re worth/The meek shall inherit the Earth, my friend/The meek shall inherit the Earth.”  The song continues in its second verse, which reads, “If they say they want it enough/Will they deserve it?/Not in a million years/Fame ain’t easy…not even if you cry me a river of tears/Laugh  now, for one day/We’ll be in control, oh yeah/And we won’t have even earned it from the school/Where they teach you to rock and roll.”  This is a full-on message of hope and empowerment.  It is using a timeless adage to remind listeners that hope is possible.  It empowers those people who have felt themselves the dregs of society, but who are in fact the underdogs who so deservedly will one day in fact inherit the earth.  That positive message, set against the melancholic vibe to make that lyrical message that much more impacting.  The arrangement’s sound and feel will connect with listeners because it touches on the feelings and emotions of said listeners.  The positive message reminds listeners that something good is out there. The whole of that pairing makes this song one of the most notable songs featured in this record.  Of course it is just one of the album’s most notable works.  ‘People Are Dangerous’ is just as notable as ‘Meek Shall Inherit The Earth.’

‘People Are Dangerous’ in part because of its musical arrangement, which is centered around its infectious bluesy guitar riff and percussion.  The noted guitar riff almost immediately conjures thoughts of Depeche Mode and Pink Floyd.  The use of the Latin percussion and tympani adds even more to that feeling.  The chorus advances that sound even more, with the end result being an arrangement that is yet another powerful example of what makes AIDY? such a surprisingly enjoyable album.  The song’s musical side is just one part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical side is just as impacting as its musical side.  The song’s lead verse reads, “We’re all wounded creatures with stories to tell/Under the influence/Under the spell/Walkin’ the line between serenity and sorrow/We self medicate for a better tomorrow/Out in the cold try to weather the storm/Stokin’ the fire to keep us all warm/People are dangerous/They’ll promise you the Earth/They’ll wound you with their words/And hit where it hurts/They’ll spin you around/And lift you up high/And bring you to the ground/In the blink of an eye.”  The song’s second verse reads, “Now here are we?/Still chasin’ our dreams/Living a nightmare…Holdin’ on tight/We’ve hit rock bottom/It comes through fear/Of being forgotten/Dictating direction by building more walls/If we stand together/We can watch them all fall/People are dangerous/They’ll promise you the Earth/they’ll wound you with their words/They’ll hit where it hurts/They’ll spin you around/Lift you up high/And bring you to the ground/In the blink of an eye/Stop pretending everything’s alright/Have you the heart for the fight?/Better to die on your own two feet/Than to live life on your knees.”  In reading this, it becomes clear that this song’s lyrical content is a social commentary.  It is a commentary about what has happened to society and what we as a people are doing to ourselves and to one another.  This wording is an original take on a familiar trope that will certainly keep listeners engaged in its own right.  Add that to the maintained engagement and entertainment that the song’s musical arrangement, and the end result is a song that is instantly one of this record’s most memorable works.  It is not the last of the album’s most memorable and notable songs, either.  ‘Futuristic Paranoia’ is yet another of the record’s truly memorable and notable works.

‘Futuristic Paranoia’ conjures thoughts of Gary Numan’s most recent albums right from its outset in terms of its arrangement.  That is due to the use of its electronics and its Middle Eastern elements.  The vocals and the rest of the arrangement’s elements add to that comparison even more.  What is important to note here is that while the comparison to Gary Numan’s work can be made here, it cannot be said that this arrangement is a blatant rip-off of his work.  The two are just stylistically similar, is all, and that is a very good thing here.  While the song’s musical arrangement clearly does a lot to make it engaging and entertaining, it is only one part of the song.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to its whole as its musical material.

The lead verse in this song states, “When you think you’re alone, remember they’ll be watching you/Wherever you are, night or day/When the nightmare comes and you are shaking in the dead of night/Nothing makes it go away/It’s just your average, ordinary futuristic paranoia.”  The second verse follows, “When the voices in your head get fearless and come out to play…deep down they speak the truth/When the strange bacterial shapes and the screen begin their merry dance/Your world goes pixilated/It’s not use/It’s just your average ordinary futuristic paranoia.”  This one is deep, needless to say.  It’s as if the group is saying that so much of what we think is in our heads and we have to remind ourselves of this.  Yet again, that is just this critic’s own take on this.  It could be totally wrong.  Hopefully even if it is wrong, it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  That aside, the fact that this deep content will certainly generate a lot of interest and conversation among listeners proves why this song stands out.  The addition of that noted musical content to the lyrics makes the song stand out even more.  All things considered, they make ‘Futuristic Paranoia’ a work that is certain to be a fan favorite both on record and live.  Keeping this in mind, when this song is considered alongside the other songs noted here – both of which will be fan favorites in their own right – they show collectively what makes Am I Dead Yet? a pleasant surprise for every music lover.  When those songs are set alongside the likes of ‘Loneliness,’ ‘Thanks For Sharing’ and ‘Leaving Me Behind,’ – three more of the album’s featured songs – the album becomes that much more impressive.  When that group is considered along with the rest of the songs not directly addressed here, the whole of the record becomes a presentation that proves proudly that the independent music industry – even overseas – is just as alive with talent as America’s independent music realm.

Am I Dead Yet?’s debut self-titled full-length studio recording is a surprisingly entertaining first effort from the UK-based group.  Its musical arrangements take the best elements of so many of the group’s more well-known mainstream counterparts for a whole that is entirely original.  Sure, the comparisons are there, but none of the arrangements just rip-off the songs from the already noted counterparts.  The record’s lyrical content is just as surprisingly engaging and entertaining as its musical content.  All things considered, they make Am I Dead Yet? one of the most surprisingly enjoyable records of 2019, and more proof that the independent music industry in whole is alive and well with plenty of talent.  More information on Am I Dead Yet? is available online now along with all of Am I Dead Yet?’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.amideadyet.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aidyband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gary Numan Announces New North American Live Dates

Courtesy: BMG Music

Gary Numan is headed back out on the road.

Numan announced on Friday a new slate of live U.S. dates in support of his latest album Savage (Songs From A Broken World).  The tour, which runs a little more than a month, is currently scheduled to launch September 4 in Santa Ana, California and run through October 6 in Los Angeles, California. It also includes stops in Kansas City, Missouri; Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Washington and other cities.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Gary Numan – 2018 North American Tour Dates:
Sept. 4 The Observatory Santa Ana, CA
Sept. 5 The Crescent Ballroom Phoenix, AZ
Sept. 7 The Mohawk Austin, TX
Sept. 8 Paper Tiger San Antonio, TX
Sept. 9 Canton Hall Dallas, TX
Sept. 10 Tower Theatre Oklahoma City, OK
Sept. 11 Madrid Theatre Kansas City, MO
Sept. 13 The Ready Room St. Louis, MO
Sept. 14 Bogart’s Cincinnati, OH
Sept. 16 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
Sept. 17 Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale, PA
Sept. 18 Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON
Sept. 20 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
Sept. 21 9:30 Club Washington, DC
Sept. 22 Irving Plaza New York, NY
Sept. 23 The Queen Wilmington, DE
Sept. 24 House of Blues Cleveland, OH
Sept. 25 Headliner’s Music Hall Louisville, KY
Sept. 27 Slowdown Omaha, NE
Sept. 28 Gothic Theatre Englewood, CO
Sept. 29 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 1 Vogue Theatre Vancouver, BC
Oct. 2 Neptune Seattle, WA
Oct. 3 Roseland Theatre Portland, OR
Oct. 5 Bimbo’s 365 Club San Francisco, CA
Oct. 6 The Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, CA

More information on Numan’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://garynuman.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GaryNumanOfficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/numanofficial

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.